State employees want more money for road improvements

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York’s proposed budget includes roughly $500 million for highway improvements and $400 million to go toward the state’s bridge program.

Public works employees from across the state flooded Albany to tell the governor that’s still not enough.

“Our sub-bases fail, so the pavement fails and there are more potholes, so it’s very a vicious cycle we’re going through,” Dan Crandell, Public Works Commissioner Schoharie County, said.

For the last two years, Crandell says crews are left filling nearly 20 miles of county roads with oil and stone, instead of smooth pavement.

“It’s dusty, a lot of residents complain, it doesn’t hold up.”

The county commissioner says that’s all they can do with their $2 million share of the state’s CHIPs money.

“To do what we should be doing and do full depth reclamation you’re looking at a half a million  to a million dollars a mile, so you can see where the shortfall is coming.”

Crandell stood alongside crews from around the state in Albany in their construction cone orange shirts asking for more money.

“It’s not enough,” Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said.

Both Senate Democrats and Republicans are asking for an additional $150 million for roads and $50 million for bridge repair annually in the budget.

Budget deadline efforts last year earned both upstate and downstate equal funding; a plan Crandell says their fighting for again this year.

“Approximately three projects in New York City are consuming over 95 percent of the money to those extra funds, so it would be great to get some parity there.”

Without it, Crandell says lawmakers and the governor will watch upstate drivers continue down a rocky road.

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